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Innovating Health and Well-being through Entrepreneurship


Disclaimer: due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course description might be subject to changes. For the latest updates regarding corona virus, please check this link.

Topics: Health care, wellbeing, design thinking, innovation, co-creation, prototyping, team building, entrepreneurship, public speaking.

Medicine: public health, lifestyle medicine
Psychology: wellbeing
Business administration: entrepreneurship

Skills: Design thinking skills, Co-creation, (Rapid) prototyping, Teamwork skills, Presenting.

Cross-curricular skills: (Meta)cognitive: Conduct research, Analyse data, Generate solutions, Project based (team)work, Flexibility, Interactive work
Interpersonal: Collaboration, Oral communication, Presenting, Social awarenes, Assertiveness
Intrapersonal: Resilience, Taking initiative

Admission requirements

This course is an (extracurricular) Master Honours Class aimed at talented Master’s students. Admission will be based on academic background, GPA and motivation.


During this course, students from multidisciplinary teams will identify a challenge in the field of health and wellbeing and will work on innovative (business) ideas or solutions to address this challenge. To inspire students, potential challenges will be provided by profit and non-profit organisations, such as insurance companies, pension funds and local government. Participants are expected to create innovative solutions that contribute to health and wellbeing while using co-creation, design thinking, and rapid prototyping.
To enable participants to achieve this, they receive inspirational lectures about, e.g., changes in wellbeing, lifestyle, health and health care organisation and stakeholders. In terms of skills, they will receive instructions on innovation techniques and methods in a flipped classroom approach. This will allow them to acquire basic innovation skills, fall in love with the problem underlying their challenge and develop suitable and attractive solutions for their target groups. In coaching and team sessions they will further these innovation skills and their proposed solution. Participants co-design, validate and test ideas at each stage with experts and prospective consumers. This means that this is a high-paced, hands-on course that includes quite a lot of practical work including interviews. By the end of this course, participants will have gone through the first phases of an innovation trajectory.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have: • gained scientific insights about health, prevention and lifestyle interventions; • gained insights in the processes and factors underlying wellbeing; • gathered basic understanding of the innovation cycle for need-driven ideation and what this means in the context of health care (design thinking); • practiced the first phases of innovation according to a design-thinking cycle; • experienced comprehensive learning on developing a user-centric, demand-driven idea, validated by co-creation and repetitive interviews; • gone through development methods (rapid prototyping) for iterative prototyping; • acquired insights in teamwork processes as well as insight into their own team role; • learned soft-skills (presenting, pitch training, leadership and management) to communicate with stakeholders, investors and business partners.


The program will look as follows (NB changes may occur depending on availability):
Week 1:
Monday 3 April 17:00 – 18:00
Introduction to the course (face to face)
Thursday 6 April 19:00 – 20:30
Team building, seminar: what is health? (hybrid)
Assignment 1: get organized

Week 2:
Thursday 13 April 19.00 - 20.30
Seminar: The environment and context of health and wellbeing (hybrid)

Week 3:
Monday 17 April 17:00 – 18:00
Getting organized (flipped classroom, face to face)
Thursday 20 April 19:00 – 20:30
Seminar: Participatory approaches, inclusive design and how to interview beneficiaries (hybrid)
Assignment 2: defining your scope and ecosystem

Week 4:
Monday 24 April 17:00 – 18:00
Define scope and understand ecosystem (flipped classroom, face to face)
Assignment 3: getting to know your beneficiary

Week 5:
Monday 8 May 17:00 – 18:00
Beneficiaries (flipped classroom, face to face)
Thursday 11 May 19:00 – 20:30
Seminar: Innovating in health and wellbeing: stakeholders (hybrid)
Assignment 4: choose your intervention logic
Draft group report Diamond 1: Understand

Week 6:
Monday 15 May 17:00 – 18:00
Intervention logic (flipped classroom, face to face)
Assignment 5: Ideate and select

Week 7:
Monday 22 May 17:00 -18:00
Solution and assumption testing (flipped classroom, face to face)
Thursday 25 May 19:00 – 20:30
Seminar: Ideation in health and wellbeing (hybrid)
Assignment 6: Assumption testing

Week 8:
Thursday 1 June 19:00 – 20:30
Rapid prototyping (hybrid)
Organize your experiments and focus group
Draft group report Develop (diamond 2)

Week 9:
Monday 5 June 17:00 – 18:00
Pitching workshop (flipped classroom, face to face)
Thursday 8 June 19:00 – 20:30
Seminar: Innovative solutions in health and wellbeing (hybrid)
Assignment 7: Pitch
Draft group report

Week 10:
Thursday 22 June 19:00 – 20:30
Final pitching (face to face)
Group video and story (22 June)
Compiled group report (26 June)
Individual portfolio/journal (26 June)


Both the Monday Lectures and Thursday seminars will be in Leiden. Locations may change to digital sessions on some occasions depending on availability, feasibility and COVID regulations.
Monday lectures: face to face, flipped classroom, location at PLNT
Thursday seminars: hybrid, seminars, location at Leyden Academy.

Course load

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Lectures: 7 lectures of 1 hr (participation is mandatory 7 hrs);

  • Seminars: 7 seminars of 1.5hrs (participation is mandatory, 10,5 hrs);

  • Excursion: if COVID-19 allows 1 excursions of 4 hours (4 hrs);

  • Literature reading: 2 hours/week (16 hrs);

  • Practical work: 3 hours/week (24 hrs);

  • Preparation for practical work, coach sessions and teamwork: 3,5 hours/week (25);

  • Assignments (group report on 3 diamonds), individual journal and presentation: 50,5 hours.


The assessment methods will look as follows:

Individual assessment:

  • 10% Active participation - All weeks

  • 20% Weekly coaching sessions 8-10 All weeks

  • 30% Individual portfolio 8-10 28 June

Group assessment:

  • 30% Group report, which includes:

  • Understand ecosystem and beneficiaries

  • Develop a solution and test your assumptions

  • 10% Group video and story

Reading list

Among other sources (both video, online assignments and articles), these include:

  • Brown T (2008). Design thinking. Harvard Business Review, 86(6), 84-92.

  • Brow, T (2009). Change by design: how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: Harper

  • Lambooij, M.S., Hummel, M.J. Differentiating innovation priorities among stakeholder in hospital care.BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 13, 91 (2013).

  • Ledderer L, Kjær M, Madsen EK, Busch J, Fage-Butler A. Nudging in Public Health Lifestyle Interventions: A Systematic Literature Review and Metasynthesis. Health Education & Behavior. 2020;47(5):749-764. doi:10.1177/1090198120931788

  • Peters D, Ahmadpour N, Calvo RA. Tools for Wellbeing-Supportive Design: Features, Characteristics, and Prototypes. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction. 2020; 4(3):40.

Other possible literature will be announced in class or via Brightspace.

Brightspace and uSis

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Master Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.


Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 30 January up to and including Sunday 12 February 2023 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Master Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.


Marleen Dohmen:
Lieke Kock:

Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing
Rijnsburgerweg 10
2333 AA Leiden